We have long known that this year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens kickstarts a whole new trilogy, to be followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX, not to mention new spinoff movies. It has long been assumed that Disney is aiming for a 2017 release for Star Wars: Episode VIII and a 2019 debut for Star Wars: Episode IX, but now we have confirmation from Disney CEO Bob Iger himself. David Gremillion from Get Your Geek On is a Disney stockholder, who received an annual report from the company that included this quote from Bob Iger, which confirms a 2017 release for Star Wars: Episode VIII and a 2019 debut for Star Wars: Episode IX, and that the Untitled Gareth Edwards Directed Star Wars Spin-Off will hit theaters at some point in 2016. Here's what he had to say, adding that Star Wars: Episode VIII will be well worth the long wait.
"As one of the few people allowed to visit the set during filming... and one of the fewer who's seen most of the footage... I can assure the millions of Star Wars fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait. And it's only the beginning of a new era of exceptional Star Wars storytelling; next year we'll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII in 2017, and we'll finish this trilogy with Episode IX in 2019."
There are a few things that immediately stand out about this statement. The first is his use of the phrase "this trilogy," which may hint that Disney is developing even more trilogies after Episodes 7 through 9 and the standalone movies. Speaking of which, this statement doesn't refer to the second Star Wars Spinoff, which will be directed by Josh Trank that many thought would arrive in 2018, between Star Wars: Episode VIII and Episode IX.
Bob Iger also said that the first Star Wars Spinoff is "based on these characters," implying characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. One recent rumor regarding director Gareth Edwards' spinoff is that it centers on a group of space pirates, including Han Solo, stealing plans for the original Death Star, but yet another unconfirmed report revealed that the movie does feature space pirates and includes both Han Solo and the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Naturally, we know Han Solo will be in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but could his statement hint that other characters from that adventure will be present in the spinoff? There have also been rumors of a third spinoff movie, but we haven't heard much more about that project as of late.
Bob Iger did state that Star Wars: The Force Awakens "is only the beginning," which can only leave one to wonder how expansive this Star Wars universe will truly become under Disney's watch. What do you think about Bob Iger's comments?